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‘Sindhu vulnerable on counter attack’
PV Sindhu appears "vulnerable" on counter-attack and that is a big factor in her losing many a title clashes, including recent CWG final, observed former India coach Vimal Kumar, who believes with little more maturity and bit of luck she will be able to pull off close matches.
Sindhu, an Olympic and World Championship Silver medallist, settled for a Silver after losing a close final to compatriot Saina Nehwal in Gold Coast.
It was yet another final loss for the 22-year-old, who had faced defeat in the finals of Rio Olympics, Glasgow World Championship, Dubai Super Series Final last year and India Super Series and All England Championship this year.
"Sindhu looked subdued in the final. She didn't have the same sort of aggression that she has when she plays others. What I have noticed is when rallies are long and when there is counterattack, I find Sindhu little vulnerable and Saina exploited that. She kept attacking. But you don't know what would have happened if it had gone to third game," Vimal said.
"Sindhu is still young and she has been playing better against other girls. Unfortunately when she loses everybody criticises but she is just 23, she can convert these situation to her advantage. I think that will happen. With little more maturity, she will do well. A bit of luck is also required.
"In this match also, she gave easy points to Saina. She was not confident of her shots. She was tentative while Saina's body language was totally different, she was looking forward to the final. Had Sindhu lost in the semis, I don't know if Saina would have been as aggressive because she was struggling against other girls."
Vimal, who had trained Saina for around three years after she shifted base to Bangalore in 2014, credited Saina's mental fortitude but said he wasn't too impressed with her performance against other opponents in the tournament.
"You have to give credit to Saina's mental resolve but she was not playing that great. I wasn't impressed with her when she played against the Malaysian girl (Soniia Cheah). She also played a close match against (Kristy) Gilmour but against Sindhu she raised the bar and did exceptionally well.
"The Rio Olympics was a big disappointment for her, she had won the Australian Open and she was shaping up well. I was personally very disappointed as well but then she came back well and last world championship she won Bronze after losing close match to Okuhara, she went through injury crisis again."
Vimal said Saina can regain her best form if she stays fit and doesn't overtrain.
"It will give her a lot of confidence and I have always said that if she can stay injury free and take care of her body and not over train or do too many things, rest of things will fall into place and she can still perform and be at her best. I feel she still has 2-3 years," said Vimal, who had represented India at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.
The 55-year-old said the mixed team Gold was the highlight of India's campaign at Commonwealth Games and if the team can continue in the same vein, the country can win the Thomas and Uber Cup titles next month.
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